Corey Patterson made his Blue Jays debut Monday night taking over in centre field from Rajai Davis. Patterson was just activated from the disabled list, the after effect of being hit in the back of the head in a spring training game. Davis, meanwhile, will be placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday to give his injured right ankle the necessary time to heal. Davis rolled the ankle in the season opener and hasn’t been the same since. A few days off here and there haven’t done the trick so Davis will be off for the next two weeks.
Patterson, 31, meanwhile, said that he has had no setbacks since his beaning and hasn’t shied away from inside pitches either in simulated games or his rehab assignments at class-A Dunedin.
“I had no problems,” he said of facing live pitching. “There was no hesitation, no stepping in the bucket, no bailing out. It was fine and if I felt a little uncertainty, I would have let these guys know. There are no side effects and I’m ready to go.”
A base stealing threat, Patterson brings speed to the top of the lineup.
“For me, the name of my game is to score runs, however you can get on,” he said. “That’s what I’m looking to do. If I can just get on and manufacture some runs, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Patterson also got to jump in against one of the best pitchers in the league in Felix Hernandez.
“That’s fine because I believe I do pretty good against him,” he said.
Patterson, who bats from the left side, wasn’t lying. Prior to Monday’s game he had gone 6-for-17 with two doubles, two triples and a home run.
Line them up
Although manager John Farrell had the speedy Patterson on hand to replace Davis in the lineup, he batted shortstop Yunel Escobar in the leadoff position and had Patterson batting second.
“The fact that Yunel has been getting on base with such frequency (he’s batting .476, 10-for-21, with four walks) and with Corey behind him who has had good success against Felix, hopefully we’re in a situation either courtesy of a base hit or a walk (by Escobar) he (Patterson) hooks one through the hole,” Farrell explained.
Even though Aaron Hill has got off to a slow start (.184), Farrell kept him in the fifth slot, back of cleanup hitter Adam Lind.
When the Jays place Davis on the disabled list on Tuesday they will recall Mike McCoy from triple-A Las Vegas. McCoy was shipped out following Sunday’s game against Anaheim to make room for Patterson.
RHP Brandon Morrow makes a second rehab start on Tuesday with Dunedin. Farrell said they will make a decision on whether to bring him back or have another minor-league start following his outing. Reliever Frank Francisco, on the DL with shoulder issues, is throwing with reduced velocity and will require several more minor-league appearances.